Devante Parker’s injury history is VERY concerning as a #1 option, but what about as a #3 or #4 option?
The Dolphins along with many fans have had a lot of frustration with Parker in recent years, Parker was Miami’s #1 WR yet he struggled to stay on the field, and this held the team back tremendously. It was up until last year that some of that pressure was lifted with the addition of WR Jaylen Waddle, who was an instant hit.
Jaylen Waddle quickly became the #1 option for the Dolphins in 2021 and he didn’t disappoint, Parker missed a lot of time due to injuries during this season. And the lack of a run game made it crucial for the Dolphins to have a solid #2 WR getting a high amount of work, a role the Dolphins desperately needed Parker to fill but he was not available.
This increased frustrations even more, especially throughout the fanbase, and understandably so. The team is in a dying need of Parker’s services but just like clockwork he was out for Sundays with injuries on many instances.
However, when on the field Parker was extremely efficient and showed exactly why the Dolphins have kept him around for as long as they have. Parker is one of the best WR’s in pulling in contested catches, and with Tua Tagovailoa’s tight window throws having Parker’s skillset is crucial.
In 2021 injuries really got in the way for Parker to put up the volume to compete in these rankings, but in 2020 he was the league leader in contested catches at one point.
Like I said before, contested catches and tight window throws go hand and hand like your favorite meal at the local restaurant.
So how does Parker fit as a #3 or #4?
This is where Parker’s value truly rises, his injury concerns prevent him from being a high volume player on offense. But his high efficiency on the field makes him valuable on reduced snaps, bring Parker in for 3rd down, red-zone, goal-line, 2 minute offense.
Less usage, means Parker’s body is taking less punishment and could possibly keep him off the injury list. But even when dealing with injuries Parker always shows up and performs late in the season, last season Parker was rarely available early on but became one of the protagonists on offense towards the end of the season.
Players who perform at a high level late in the season even with injuries are players every coach wants on their playoff roster. Devante Parker’s efficiency would be crucial once the playoffs come around and the Dolphins find themselves in 3rd down, red-zone, goal-line, 2 minute offense etc.
In my opinion it’s worth keeping Parker on Mike McDaniel’s offense, a renewed environment could revive Parker’s career the way we saw with other players who left, but this time leaving wouldn’t be necessary. The Dolphins could save $3.3 Million in cap by trading Parker, but keeping him is only a $8.3 Million cap hit in 2022.
And injury concerns are very real but we still don’t know how good, efficient, and healthy Parker can be on a #3 or #4 WR role where he’s only taking a fraction of the snaps but doing it on key downs. In my opinion that’s where the value lies, and that is why the Miami Dolphins might regret trading for DeVante Parker if they say “yes” to one of those phone calls.
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